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Blaverism and PSOE

Inside the complex world of Blaverism, a piece lacked. And without this element this phenomenon could not be explained, and moreover, the fact that this phenomenon has lasted for so many years could not be explained either. And this is the role of PSOE (Spanish Socialist party) in this matter.

PSPV nacionalista
PSPV (Valencian Socialists) had a basic nationalist ideology during the Spanish transition

It is quite remarkable that one of the political parties that was a member of the PSOE during the Spanish transition was the PSPV, which was a clearly nationalist party. Therefore, it could be said that the PSOE during the Spanish transition in the Valencian country had some nationalist ideas. For instance they defended as the Valencian flag the one with four red stripes, without a blue ribbon, and they achieved to make it official for the Valencian country between 1978 and the beginning of 1980, with the shield of the Preautonomous Council in the middle.

It is also true that the PSOE, during the first time of Blaverism suffered a lot of Blaverist violence, since it was accused by Blaverists of “Catalanist”. This way, important people from the PSOE of those years suffered Blaverist aggresions and threats, such as the former mayor of València Ricard Pérez Casado, or the president of the Preautonomous "Generalitat" (Valencian government) Josep Lluís Albinyana. Blaverist have been specially aggresive against the socialists during the so-called "civic procession" of Octuber 9th (Valencian national day) in the morning. There they slander and insult the important Socialist politicians that take part in this march, which they still do these days.

Processó Cívica
Civic procession of Octuber 9th, where the Socialists have to bear all kind of insults from the Blaverists, and they incredibly do nothing against it.

But the dismissal and political marginalization of president Albinyana in 1980, who was considered in Madrid as rather nationalist, begins to show us the keys of the PSOE further evolution. Thus, within the complex negotiations for the Valencian Statute of Autonmomy, it seems that there was a kind of "agreement" between Alfonso Guerra on the one hand, and Abril Martorell and Emilio Attard on the other. This agreement allowed to shape the final version of the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, where all the Blaverist simbology is gathered.

During the years that the PSOE ruled over the Valencian Generalitat (1983 - 1995), not only did this party accept Blaverist symbology, but also in a certain way, the did not fight at all against Blaverism. The only positive thing that the PSOE did those years was to defend the normative ortography for the Catalan language adapted for the Valencian country, which is known as "Norms of 1932" as official. They also introduced the teaching of the Valencian language in the schools (very slowly and with a lot of precautions). During the years of the PSOE government in Valencia, many said that this party used a "calculated ambiguity" regarding Blaverism. It has a triple explanation:

  1. On the one hand, Blaverism was a direct atack to Valencian nationalism, that this way was weakened. And Valencian nationalism was a direct rival for PSOE.
  2. The fact that Blaverist were united in a political party (first Unión Valenciana [Valencian Union] and later Coalición Valenciana [Valencian Coalition]) implied to divide and to create controversy inside the Valencian right forces.
  3. On the other hand, in front of the “fear” that the Valencian right, with the help of Blaverism could some day get the power in the Valencian country, a lot of nationalist vote was diverted towards PSOE. It is what is designed as “useful vote”. And this phenomenon happened and is still happening.
Valencià a l'escola
Introduction of the normative language in the schools was the only positive thing that the PSOE did when it ruled over the Valencian Generalitat, in nationalist terms.

Another element that shows how the PSOE fostered and is still fostering Blaverism can be found in the newspaper “Levante-EMV”. This newspaper was part of the Francoist “Prensa del Movimiento” (Movement Press). But when this press disappeared during the Spanish transition and it was auctioned at the beginning ot the 80's, people related to the PSOE bought this newspaper. So this newspaper has always given a certain degree of propaganda to Blaverism. It is true that this propaganda has not been so outspoken as the one that was made by “Las Provincias” when it was ruled by María Consuelo Reyna, but this propaganda has always been present. Just to put an example, during the Blaverist mobilization of November 27, 2004, where "Coalición Valenciana" had a leading role, this political party exaggerated the number of attendants and said that more than half a million people had taken part in it. More realistic estimations stated that attendants would have been between 15.000 and 25.000. "Levante" newspaper accepted always that the number of attendants had been more than 40.000 people. Therefore, they made an upward estimation of the number of attendants. On the other hand, first with Unión Valenciana and later with Coalición Valenciana, this newspaper has echoed any of its initiatives, and echoes as well of the most insignificant news about these parties, which this newspaper does not do with other minority political parties.

This extremely machiavelic strategy did not avoid that the Valencian right forces achieve the power in the Valencian Generalitat in 1995. They could do that with the help of the Blaverist forces and owing to the pressures of the Valencian businessmen, which was materialized in the so-called “chicken agreement”.

Alfonso Guerra
Alfonso Guerra was one of the main makers of the Valencian Estatute of 1982, which gathers all Blaverist simbology.

Since then, the PSOE has a confusing strategy, based on the fear and the cessions to the boastings of the Valencian right. The most evident proof of that is the new Valencian Statute of Autonomy of 2006, where thay have ceded in all the matters that the Valencian right desired. And regarding the Blaverist “tenets”, not only is the Blaverist flag accepted again, but also the reference to the term “Valencian Country”, which appeared in the Valencian Statute of 1982, has been deleted. Moreover, more than 20 times there is a mention to the ”Valencian language”. The only hope regarding the language is that the Valencian Academy of Language (AVL) is established as the only regulatory entity as to the Valencian language. It will restrictively avoid the imposition of Blaverist ortography in the future, since the academics in favour of the unity of the Catalan language (including the Valencian Country) inside this academy hold a majority.

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